A timeless classic has been given a modern twist in a version of “Hansel and Gretel” to be performed at Valparaiso University in November.

Valpo’s Departments of Theatre and Music will present the production at 8 p.m. Nov. 9, 11, and 15 and at 2 p.m. on Nov. 13 in the University Theatre. Admission is free to Valpo students, faculty and staff. Tickets for general public are $15 for adults and $10 for senior citizens and non-Valpo students.

In this version of the opera “Hansel and Gretel,” written by Engelbert Humperdinck and Adelheid Wette and based on the Grimm brothers’ fairy tale, the Valpo production team and R. Andrew White, director and associate professor of theatre, have updated the setting.

“We’re setting the opera in an impoverished urban environment, which is a kind of forest — except the trees are replaced with concrete and steel,” White said. “We hope to highlight the dark and powerful themes of the original fairy tale that the opera retains. Most, if not all, fairy tales tend to address in some way the aspects of the human experience that disturb us most.”

Performers making their debut at Valparaiso University include Emma Ritter, Ana VanDekerchove and Stephanie Truax. Ritter, a freshman vocal performance and English major, takes the part of Hansel. VanDekerchove, a member of the University Chorale and Sigma Alpha Iota, will be playing the witch. Stephanie Truax, playing as the Dew Fairy, is a sophomore music education major. Claire Mueller, a junior majoring in vocal performance, is returning to the stage for her second performance at Valparaiso University and taking the role as Gretel.

Dennis Friesen-Carper, Reddel Professor of Music, provides musical direction, while Ralph Klapis, adjunct instructor, provides vocal direction.

For more information or to purchase tickets, visit valpo.edu/TheArts or call the Valpo Box Office at (219) 464-5162.

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